Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) went further than most when condemning President Obama: he boasted about urging active-duty U.S. generals to resign, during a war, in order to undermine the Obama administration.
Not surprisingly, this raised a few eyebrows, though over the weekend, the far-right congressman, who happens to also sit on the House Armed Services Committee, was taking a no-harm-no-foul attitude. The Colorado Springs’ newspaper, The Gazette, reported Saturday:
The campaign spokesman for U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn said Saturday that the congressman has felt “no pressure” regarding his comments calling for generals to resign if they disagreed with White House policy. […]“No one from leadership has contacted the congressman because there is nothing to contact him about,” said Jarred Rego, Lamborn’s campaign spokesman.
By way of a defense, the congressman’s spokesperson said Lamborn was referring to years-old policy disputes, including sequestration cuts and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Given what Lamborn actually said, this defense seems literally unbelievable.
This isn’t at all complicated. A voter made some bizarre anti-Obama comments, while urging the congressman to “support the generals and the troops.” The congressman replied, “[L]et me reassure you on this. A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. You know, let’s have a public resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.’”
We’re to believe that Lamborn was talking about the 2010 policy on gays in the military and the 2013 sequester? If so, why did the Republican reference present-tense efforts that he says are underway “behind the scenes”?
Indeed, Lamborn and his aides seem eager to wash their hands of this, but there are plenty of questions that still deserve answers. When he said “a lot of us” are pushing generals to resign, who else is involved in Lamborn’s efforts? Which generals have Lamborn and his cohorts talked to “behind the scenes”? Why does Lamborn believe it would help U.S. interests for generals to resign during a war? Exactly how many times has Lamborn talked to the generals about this, and when was the last conversation?
For that matter, the questions shouldn’t be limited to the Colorado Republican. House GOP leaders should arguably be asked to comment as well about the propriety of Lamborn’s conduct and whether he should remain on the Armed Services Committee – a panel in which members routinely interact with military leaders. The question for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans is simple: a member of your caucus bragged publicly about basically trying to incite mutiny among America’s generals during war time. Is that acceptable behavior?
It’s tough to gauge reactions from locals in Lamborn’s district, but Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, a retired Air Force officer, said on Twitter over the weekend that Lamborn is “an embarrassment,” adding that the congressman “places politics and self before country.”
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